Monday, April 23, 2018

The Role of Muscle Mass in Weight Loss


Muscle Mass in Weight Loss

 The importance of muscles

Your muscles not only keep you in shape but also maintain your health and wellness, in particular your body weight. Your muscles are essential for life. Muscle protein is dynamic when it is converted into amino acids. It repairs your body cells and tissues. It helps fight infections. It carries oxygen (in the form of hemoglobin) to your cells. It transports calcium and iron in your blood. It controls your weight (your muscles burn calories while you sleep—one pound of muscle burns 30 to 40 calories a day).

More muscle means less fat. More muscle means less inflammation (excess fat producing more cytokines, responsible for artery, joint, and tissue inflammation). More inflammation means more plague in arteries (greater risk of heart attack and strokes, as well as memory loss). More muscle means more body strength, greater mobility, and less risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Your muscle is important. Use it or lose it!

A study on master athletes at the University of California indicated that muscle mass has little to do with age. In other words, you could still have the same amount of muscle mass as someone who is 10 to 20 years younger than you are. Muscle mass is anti-aging. Do weight training or workout without weights to preserve your muscle mass and keep you in shape to look forever younger.

Women, in particular, benefit more from weight training, because they have less muscle mass than men have, and adding more muscles means burning more calories.

Loss of muscle mass

As you age, you muscle protein dwindles. An average person loses half a pound of muscle and gains a pound of fat a year. Between 30 and 60, you may expect to lose 15 pounds of muscle and gain 30 pounds of fat (if not more). That will put you not only out of shape, but also in health hazards.

Loss of muscle mass may be due to the following:

Increase in cortisol (a hormone for regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure, immune function, and inflammatory response), which breaks down muscle mass
Decrease in growth hormone (stimulating growth and cell reproduction) and testosterone (male and female hormone)
Increase in fat (more fat, more inflammation, and less muscle mass—a vicious cycle).

To prevent loss of muscle mass, continue to build your muscles even as you age. The human body is perfectly capable of getting the exercise it needs with very little extra equipment. For instance, even a simple towel can be used as one of the most effective and versatile fitness accessories for strength and flexibility training to enhance your muscle mass.

Important muscle groups to target

As you age, weight training should specifically target the following muscle groups for prolonged independence and continuous mobility:

Back, knee, pelvic floor (important for your sexual function, bowel and urinary control)
Shoulder joint and shoulder rotator cuff to stabilize shoulder movements

Remember, exercise, not medications, is the single most effective choice against heart disease. Exercise and muscle mass keep you younger for longer.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau


Friday, April 20, 2018

Your Golden Years and Your Vision


Your Golden Years and Your Vision

Human vision is more than just seeing. The human eye is more than a mechanical tool for vision; it is hardwired into your brain, and therefore is an extension of your brain, which affects your perception and vision of the outside world, as well as reflects what and how you think. As such, it is the most important human organ, and is your greatest asset in your golden years.

Unfortunately, as you get into your golden years (that is, age 65 and beyond)), you will have noticed the deterioration of your vision. As a matter of fact, vision loss begins as early as in the 30s, and its deterioration accelerates in the 40s and 50s. By now, in your golden years, you may have considerable vision loss that affects the quality of your everyday life. Getting older has taken its toll on your body in many ways and your eyesight deterioration is just one of them.

Your vision loss is indicated by your difficulty in focusing when you look at near of distant objects (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or your predisposition to focusing more slowly and less accurately (presbyopia). These debilitating eye conditions are caused by the hardening of the eyes’ lenses; resulting in inflexibility of eye muscles and hence difficulty in focusing.

Presbyopia makes it increasingly difficulty for you to read or do close-up work, while nearsightedness or farsightedness requires you to wear bifocals or different pairs of eyeglasses.

By now, in your golden years, is there anything you can do to retard your vision loss?

Absolutely! It is never too late to do something to stop your aging process. Using medications, eye drops, prescription lenses, and even surgeries may not have long-term side effects on your overall vision health. There are other natural ways to promote natural healing of your eyes at any age.

In your golden years, take extra care of your vision health and eyesight issues to reduce the risk of eyesight deterioration or even blindness further down the road. Check your health, especially your eye health, on a regular basis. This may play a pivotal role in your vision self-healing. Prevention is always better than a cure. Make sure that you have eye tests done at least once a year and if you start to notice a steady decline in your ability to focus or see clearly.

To correct your vision problems, your eye doctors and opticians may be too ready to prescribe corrective lenses or even talk you into the possibility of having surgery to fix any vision problem. Remember, natural healing holds the key to reversal of any disorder, including your problematic eye conditions.

You can use of eye exercises to help you correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia. Eye exercises are easy and simple to do and you can even do them in the comfort of your own home. A few eye exercises each day can really help you improve your vision significantly. But you must be consistent and persistent in pursuing your eye exercise regimen-- just like any type of physical exercise to have any benefit, you must be diligent; healing your vision loss is not an overnight endeavor.

Most vision problems, whether nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia, have to do with eye stress and strain affecting the shape of the eyes, and hence their capability to focus images correctly on the retina. But the eyes cannot be relaxed if the body and mind are not. Therefore, it is important to have a holistic approach to vision improvement. Self-healing is always holistic. 

Your Golden Years and Santa Claus is a 252-page book on how to live well in your golden years, including how to overcome your vision loss as well as other health issues and challenges encountered as you continue to age.

Stephen Lau
Copyright ©2018 by Stephen Lau


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Happiness Is Body-Mind-Soul Alignment

Happiness is a state of mind, and it is all in the mind. The mind plays a pivotal role in controlling the body living in the physical world, making its daily choices and decisions y that may ultimately affect both the body and the mind. Your soul supervises the mind. In other words, the body, the mind, and the soul need to be in balance and harmony with one another; that is, they must be in alignment, so that you may live as if everything is a miracle.

We all pursue happiness in our lives. However, happiness always seems elusive, evasive, and unattainable. The word "happiness" is a term difficult to define because it is very much individualized. But genuine human happiness has to be holistic in that the body, the mind, and the soul all feel some sense of satisfaction. 

Happiness is a state of mind. The mind controls your thoughts: how you act and react to any event or circumstance. The mind records all your mental perceptions and interpretations. and stores them at the back of your subconscious mind, where they become your memories, and hence the fabrics with which you weave the "realities" of your life. In short, it is your mind that decides whether you are happy or unhappy.

In addition, your mind makes your life choices, such as what you eat and your lifestyle. Again, they may positively or negatively affect your body and your health. Given the close connection between body and mind, your physical health has a direct impact on your mental wellness, and hence your mental happiness. 

Your soul oversees your body and your mind, which affect your soul with respect to its supervision. It is the interconnection between the body, the mind, and the soul that is ultimately responsible for your overall wellness and ultimately your perception of happiness. Happiness is always a glass half-empty or a glass half-full. Remember, life is always a bed of roses with thorns -- we all have our good fortunes and misfortunes. It is all in the mind, which can make "a heaven out of hell" or "a hell out of heaven."

In order to empower the mind to create your own happiness, you need true human wisdom to understand what genuine human happiness is. With that wisdom, you know who you really are, as well as your needs, and not your wants. With that awareness, you become a better person and more connected with others. Human goodness is the foundation upon which genuine human happiness is built.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Are You Depressed?


Are You Depressed?

Depression begins in the mind, affecting the emotions and feelings of an individual, with some of the most common symptoms, including the following:

Lethargy and loss of appetite

A depressed individual begins to feel lethargy and listlessness without any apparent reason. The mind simply refuses to function, causing physical tiredness and even loss of appetite.

Involuntary tendency to weep

Many depressed individuals get the sudden "weeps"—a tale-telling sign of the beginning of depression.

Irritability and hostility

A depressed individual, who is often passive or inactive, may express irritability towards someone who wishes to activate that individual physically or mentally.
A depressed individual may also initially express hostility directed towards someone who has rejected or insulted him or her, before turning that hostility inward at himself or herself.

Sadness and hopelessness

The most common symptom of depression, of course, is feeling sadness and hopelessness that may drag over a long period of time. The almost worldwide symptom of all depressed people is withdrawal from others, including the loved ones due to their loss of affection for self and others.

Points to Remember

We are all depressed, with no exception; just do not deny or stigmatize depression.

We are living in a world of depression that can make us unhappy in many different ways, and we are all vulnerable.

Depression is always an inner struggle against unhappiness and insecurity; it is a deliberate and  desperate but futile attempt to lose contact with the realities of life. Depression is no more than a mental escape from the inescapable.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, April 16, 2018

Self-Efficacy in the Now

Believing in yourself is self-efficacy. Believing in yourself is confidence in your own ability, knowing what you have to do to win or simply to get what you want in life. Self-efficacy is a present state of mind, which means you don't look back at the past, especially your past failures or imperfections 

Believing in yourself is one of the first steps to success in doing anything that becomes the very substance of your confidence. To have confidence, you must set goals, and achieving your goals helps you build more confidence.

The only stumbling block to believing in yourself is your inability to achieve: some of your goals at some points in your life. This stumbling block may create negativity in the form of victimization. In other words, you may find you are a victim of circumstances; this may also lead to bitterness, despair, or even anger.

One of the reasons why sometimes you don’t have self-efficacy is your past. You could have been haunted by your past failures that generated regrets, bitterness, and disappointments that you have not been able to let go of. Attachment to the past is always a stumbling block to moving ahead.

The Wisdom of Letting Go

The wisdom of letting go shows you how to use the ancient Tao wisdom from China to live in the present moment, and, more importantly, to let go of the past. With both  human wisdom and spiritual wisdom from the Bible, you may start believing in yourself again. With self-efficacy, you can do anything at any stage of your life, and the sky is the limit. 

Learn to live in the NOW, which is the only reality: the past was gone and the future is yet to come. Living in the NOW enables you to do what needs to be done for future success.


Stephen Lau

Copyright©2018 by Stephen La





Sunday, April 15, 2018

Emotions and Perceptions

Your mind is the generator of your emotions because it perceives, interprets, generalizes your thoughts, which then become your assumptions that affect how you act or react in the physical world. Your mind affects your body; as a matter of fact, there is a close connection between the body and the mind.     

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), human emotions are the major underlying causes of disease because Chinese physicians believe that certain body organs are related to emotional activities; for example, the heart is related to joy, the liver to anger, the spleen to obsessive thoughts, the lungs to anxiety, and the kidneys to fear. Therefore, excessive emotions disrupt the free flow of qi, the life-giving energy that flows through the body, and thus causing imbalance and disharmony that may lead to disease and disorder.   

In addition, human behaviors—often a byproduct of human emotions—affect the mind, just as emotions of the mind affect the body. According to a study at Ohio State University in 2003, physical behavior, such as enhanced body language of nodding in agreement or shaking head in disagreement, may significantly affect how we think without our knowing it. According to that study, even posture, such as sitting up straight, may be conducive to remembering positive memories or thinking positively, because posture changes the production of human hormones.   

The interconnection between the body and the mind is further evidenced by the indisputable notion that a healthy heart produces a healthy brain by pumping sufficient oxygen and nutrients to nourish the brain through its bloodstream.   

As If Everything Is A Miracle   

This 125-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle, instead of as if nothing is a miracle. To do just that, you need wisdom to "rethink" your mind, which may not be telling you the whole truth about your thoughts and life experiences; you need wisdom to "renew" your body, which lives in a toxic physical environment; you need spiritual wisdom to "reconnect" your soul, which is the essence of your spirituality. Most importantly, you need wisdom to "realign" your whole being because the body, the mind, and the soul are all interconnected and interdependent on one another for your well-being to live your life as if everything is a miracle. Your mind is the roadmap and your soul is the compass; without them, your body is going nowhere, and you will live your life as if nothing is a miracle.   

With enlightenment, you will become a better, happier, and healthier you. With enlightenment, you will live a stress-fee life. Learn how to overcome your stress by letting go your ego-self. No Ego No Stress!  

Stephen Lau 
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Can TAO Help Your Depression?


Can TAO help your depression?

TAO is neither a religion nor a philosophy.

TAO is simply a way of life about the Way of life, that is, a general way of thinking about everything in life. It is a pathless path of humanity to live as if everything is a miracle.

TAO is the Way through anything and everything in life in order to fully experience them and live in balance and harmony. TAO is not about avoiding or getting out of anything unhappy and undesirable in everyday life, such as depression; rather, it is about going through depression by experiencing every aspect of it in order to become enlightened, if possible, with the profound human wisdom to continue living in peace and harmony in a world of depression.

TAO is looking at life not as a series of both happy and unhappy episodes, but simply as a journey of self-discovery and self-awakening to the real meaning of life existence. You are defined not by your words and thoughts, but by the ways you act and react, as well as the impact you may have on others around you. You exist not because you are simply here; you are here in this world to love and to learn how to live, as well as to help one another do the same.

TAO is formless, shapeless, and inexplicable in words; after all, it had existed long before there were even words. TAO is infinite human wisdom, which is a pathless path to the infinity and the origin of all things.

TAO is not about making your life any easier; it is about acceptance of all aspects of your humanity that need to be fully experienced, embraced, and then to be let go of in order to become wholesome at other times of your life and living—that is the essence of TAO wisdom, which is true enlightenment of the human mind.

Living in a world of depression, you might want every-thing your way or no way. But TAO is the Way through your depression, enabling you to understand how and why you might have your depression in the first place.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau